Friday, February 25, 2011

Turning 28

It seems like there are a lot of people who like to complain about getting old. These are the type of people that will start off a sentance with "back in the day" and the finish it with a comparasion of how a certain thing was better in the past than the present. It isn't uncommon among late 20 years olds that I hang out with to look back fondly on their college days with the overall conclusion being that it used to be better.

While, I will admit that certain things in the past were better I am not completely ready to give the game, set and match to 18 year old version of me. In correlation with my 28th birthday here are 20 things that present me has over 18 year old me.

  1. Financial Flexibility - 18 year old me had to worry about the money running out. 28 year old me has banked enough in savings not to worry as much about that.

  2. Financial Intellegence - It is nice knowing what is going on with your personal finances. There is no way 18 year old me would be able to answer questions like how much do I normally spend a month, how much do I make, etc.

  3. Dating Life - Wife > High School Girlfriend.

  4. Having a Joint Checking Account - I never used to like the end of a date when the bill would come. I knew that social norms was for me to pay on the first few dates, but who pays for things when you are in a long term relationship. I don't have to care about these questions anymore because M and I have a joint account. It makes things so much easier and less stressful when the bill comes.

  5. Sporting Events - I have an active life when it comes to attending sporting events. It is a combination of having the money, living in Minneapolis and having the interest level.
  6. My Palate - I like a larger variety of food options than I used to - for example some spicy food.

  7. Autonomy - If I want to do something, for the most part I can just do it. It is easy to have this feeling when you are self-supportive. For example, it would have been hard to decide to transfer colleges without discussing that with my parents first since they were financing my education.

  8. Owning a Car - I took out a 3 year loan on my car and have paid it off. It is satisfying having made a big purchase like that.

  9. Liquor Store - Liquor and beer are a lot cheaper and more easily accessible when you can buy it legally.

  10. Crock Pot - You know my Mom was always right when she would talk about the benefits of using a crock pot. M and I don't use it all the time, but when we do (corned beef, pulled pork,etc) the food almost always turns out well.

  11. Listening to Your Parents - It turns out they actually sometimes have useful things to say, which might have shocked the teenage version of me.

  12. NBA League Pass - 18 year old me - "You mean to tell me you can watch every Jazz game and not just the few nationally televised ones."

  13. Writing Confidence - Just because some over-educated English teachers did not like my writing style in high school, doesn't mean that I am not a ok writer. Maybe I am not a great writer when talking about Beowulf, but when looking of advanced basketball stats I like to think I am above-average.

  14. A Better Variety of Friendships - I had five main friends in high school and I still keep up with four of them. They were my go-to friends when looking for something to do or an someone to talk to. Now I have added on to those friends with people I met in college and post-college. While a disadvantage to all of this is that my friend group is very spread out it still is nice being able to keep in contact with a wide variety of friends. As opposed to my high school friends, who are similar to me considering our age and background I now have friends that are different ages and have different experiences. (I am not knocking my high school friends at all since they serve a very important part in my life.)

  15. Traveling - I have been more places and more importantly I appreciate those places. It is amazing how much more you cherish trips when you only have 2 weeks of vacation time.

  16. Salary - It is nice having a job with a steadily increasing salary compared to a minimum wage job.

  17. Kids - It is really nice seeing the other side of the adult/kid relationship. Other than that I just wanted to put this down since I really enjoy hanging out with my nephew Henry.

  18. Lower Emotional Valleys - The older I have got the more I have control over my emotions. If something doesn't go my way I am less likely to embarrass myself with my actions.

  19. Laundry - I don't have to pay for or do laundry. While this was true up to my 18th birthday it wasn't true once college started. It isn't like laundry is that tough to do, but if given a preference I am glad that M has take on that responsibility.
  20. Better Restaurants - There are many great places to eat in Jackson, but at the time I didn't take advantage of them. Also, I was more inclined to go to chain restaurants and while those places have their merits (consistency being the main one) I now prefer local, independent restaurants. Thankfully, Minneapolis has more than a few great places to eat.

Now of course not all is better about being 28 compared to being 18. It would be nice to have the same energy level, freedom from working 8-5 and optimism that comes from probably being too stupid to know any better. There were many good times during that time, but my point is that I am not going to concede the fact that life was better then than it is now.

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